I swear that I could hear David Green reading this story to me as I turned the pages. Greene is an NPR reporter and was assigned for some years to Russia. He’s got a reporter’s curiosity that drives him to stop and interview all the intriguing folks he runs across. And, brother, does he ever run across some intriguing folks. A couple whose son was a Russian hockey star, killed when his plane came down. A man whose dad invented the AK-47. A group of Russian babushkas who sing together internationally.
A perfect summer read: great interviews amid the refreshing cold weather of Russia.
I’m glad I found this book at the library. I was all gung ho to buy it at B&N. Glad I didn’t, as it honestly isn’t my kind of book. Ann Morgan explores all the philosophical reasons behind why she decided to read a book from each country of the world...how many countries are there?...what is a country, really?...how do you choose something representative from each place? I wasn’t terribly interested in all that discourse; I kept waiting to hear about the books she chose and read. And the books she chose and read was pretty much confined to a list of twenty pages in the back. Quite disappointing, really.
Katona aims to convince America to pick up a book and read. She climbs up on the podium from page one of this book and lectures to us about why we need to read (she claims there are eleven good reasons) and what we could be reading. Then she provides an eighty page book list of books we might try, books that range from a 5 level of challenge (masterworks, with demanding ideas and vocabulary) to a 1 level of challenge (books written for children, but with appeal to adults). Lots of books on the list are mainstays of lists like these, but there are enough surprises to justify my purchase at Half Price Books.
I can’t decide if Mary Norris has the best job in the world or the worst job in the world. What would it be like to spend your life (more than thirty years of it) working in the copy room of The New Yorker, agonizing over whether to hyphenate a word or add a comma? Part of the fun is the who; Norris isn’t checking spelling and firming up sloppy writing for seventh-graders, after all, but for the likes of some of our world’s greatest writers. Part of the fun is also the puzzling through the sometimes contradictory rules, and reflecting on The New Yorker’s stylish grammar choices amid the contradictions (always doubling the final consonant before adding a suffix, for example...interesting).
I’m planning a celebratory forty-year-anniversary visit to Yellowstone later this summer. To prepare, I’m slowly reading a lot of Yellowstone-ish books. This one is a collection of excerpts from the stories of early travelers to Yellowstone. Truman Everts got separated from his exploration party and spent thirty-seven days alone in Yellowstone, for example...now that’s a story. Any number of wild animal attacks. A surprising number of people who were burned badly from geysters. I loved reading about the group of explorers that tentatively divided up, pre-park, Yellowstone’s great sites and contemplated the riches each might obtain from future tourists there.
The Rocks and Lists of Note...
What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.
The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.
Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. It is now being hosted here.
Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.